The Info List - Billboard Hot 100

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The _BILLBOARD_ HOT 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for singles , published weekly by _Billboard _ magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales (physical and digital ), radio play , and online streaming .

The weekly sales period was originally Monday to Sunday, when Nielsen started tracking sales in 1991, but was changed to Friday to Thursday in July 2015. Radio airplay, which, unlike sales figures and streaming data, is readily available on a real-time basis, and is tracked on a Monday to Sunday cycle (previously Wednesday to Tuesday). A new chart is compiled and officially released to the public by _Billboard_ on Tuesdays. Example:

* Friday, January 1 – sales tracking-week begins, streaming tracking-week begins * Monday, January 4 – airplay tracking-week begins * Thursday, January 7 – sales tracking-week ends, streaming tracking-week ends * Sunday, January 10 – airplay tracking-week ends * Tuesday, January 12 – new chart released, with issue post-dated Saturday, January 23

The first number one song of the Hot 100 was " Poor Little Fool " by Ricky Nelson , on August 4, 1958. As of the issue for the week ending on August 5, 2017, the Hot 100 has had 1,065 different number one hits. The current number one song is " Despacito " by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber .


* 1 History * 2 Compilation

* 3 Hot 100 policy changes

* 3.1 Double-sided singles * 3.2 Album cuts * 3.3 EPs * 3.4 Digital downloads and online streaming * 3.5 Remixes * 3.6 Recurrents * 3.7 Adjustment of tracking week

* 4 Year-end charts * 5 Limitations * 6 Use in media * 7 Similar charts * 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 References * 11 External links


Prior to 1955, _Billboard_ did not have a unified, all-encompassing popularity chart, instead measuring songs by individual metrics. At the start of the rock era in 1955, three such charts existed:

* _Best Sellers in Stores_ was the first _Billboard_ chart, established in 1936. This chart ranked the biggest selling singles in retail stores, as reported by merchants surveyed throughout the country (20 to 50 positions). * _Most Played by Jockeys_ was _Billboard's_ original airplay chart. It ranked the most played songs on United States radio stations, as reported by radio disc jockeys and radio stations (20 to 25 positions). * _Most Played in Jukeboxes_ ranked the most played songs in jukeboxes across the United States (20 positions). This was one of the main outlets of measuring song popularity with the younger generation of music listeners, as many radio stations resisted adding rock and roll music to their playlists for many years.

Although officially all three charts had equal "weight" in terms of their importance, many chart historians refer to the _Best Sellers in Stores_ chart when referencing a song's performance prior to the creation of the Hot 100; until the start of the rock era in 1955, radio was still in its Golden Age , characterized more by spoken-word programs than music radio , and physical record sales were still the dominant indicator of a recording's popularity. On the week ending November 12, 1955, _Billboard_ published THE TOP 100 for the first time. _The Top 100_ combined all aspects of a single's performance (sales, airplay and jukebox activity), based on a point system that typically gave sales (purchases) more weight than radio airplay. The _Best Sellers In Stores_, _Most Played by Jockeys_ and _Most Played in Jukeboxes_ charts continued to be published concurrently with the new _Top 100_ chart.

On June 17, 1957, _Billboard_ discontinued the _Most Played in Jukeboxes_ chart, as the popularity of jukeboxes waned and radio stations incorporated more and more rock-oriented music into their playlists. The week ending July 28, 1958 was the final publication of the _Most Played By Jockeys_ and _Top 100_ charts, both of which had Perez Prado 's instrumental version of "Patricia " ascending to the top.

On August 4, 1958, _Billboard_ premiered one main all-genre singles chart: the _Hot 100_. The Hot 100 quickly became the industry standard and _Billboard_ discontinued the _Best Sellers In Stores_ chart on October 13, 1958.

The _Billboard_ Hot 100 is still the standard by which a song's popularity is measured in the United States. The Hot 100 is ranked by radio airplay audience impressions as measured by Nielsen BDS, sales data compiled by Nielsen Soundscan (both at retail and digitally) and streaming activity provided by online music sources.

There are several component charts that contribute to the overall calculation of the Hot 100. The most significant ones are:

* _Hot 100 Airplay _: _(per Billboard)_ approximately 1,000 stations, "composed of adult contemporary , R if both sides received significant airplay, they were listed together. This started to become a moot point by 1972, as most major record labels solidified a trend they had started in the 1960s by putting the same song on both sides of the singles it serviced to radio.

More complex issues began to arise as the typical A-and-B-side format of singles gave way to 12 inch singles and maxi-singles, many of which contained more than one B-side. Further problems arose when, in several cases, a B-side would eventually overtake the A-side in popularity, thus prompting record labels to release a new single, featuring the former B-side as the A-side, along with a "new" B-side.

The inclusion of album cuts on the Hot 100 put the double-sided hit issues to rest permanently.


As many Hot 100 chart policies have been modified over the years, one rule always remained constant: songs were not eligible to enter the Hot 100 unless they were available to purchase as a single. However, on December 5, 1998, the Hot 100 changed from being a "singles" chart to a "songs" chart. During the 1990s, a growing trend in the music industry was to promote songs to radio without ever releasing them as singles. It was claimed by major record labels that singles were cannibalizing album sales, so they were slowly phased out. During this period, accusations began to fly of chart manipulation as labels would hold off on releasing a single until airplay was at its absolute peak, thus prompting a top ten or, in some cases, a number one debut. In many cases, a label would delete a single from its catalog after only one week, thus allowing the song to enter the Hot 100, make a high debut and then slowly decline in position as the one-time production of the retail single sold out.

It was during this period that several popular mainstream hits never charted on the Hot 100, or charted well after their airplay had declined. During the period that they were not released as singles, the songs were not eligible to chart. Many of these songs dominated the _Hot 100 Airplay_ chart for extended periods of time:

* 1995 The Rembrandts : "I\'ll Be There for You " (number one for eight weeks) * 1996 No Doubt : "Don\'t Speak " (number one for 16 weeks) * 1997 Sugar Ray featuring Super Cat : "Fly " (number one for six weeks) * 1997 Will Smith : "Men in Black " (number one for four weeks) * 1997 The Cardigans : " Lovefool " (number two for eight weeks) * 1998 Natalie Imbruglia : "Torn " (number one for 11 weeks) * 1998 Goo Goo Dolls : "Iris " (number one for 18 weeks)

As debate and conflicts occurred more and more often, _Billboard_ finally answered the requests of music industry artists and insiders by including airplay-only singles (or "album cuts") in the Hot 100.


Extended play (EP) releases were listed by _Billboard_ on the Hot 100 and in pre-Hot 100 charts (_Top 100_) until the mid-to-late 1960s. With the growing popularity of albums, it was decided to move EPs (which typically contain four to six tracks) from the Hot 100 to the _Billboard_ 200 , where they are included to this day.


Since February 12, 2005, the _Billboard_ Hot 100 tracks paid digital downloads from such internet services as iTunes , Musicmatch , and Rhapsody . _Billboard_ initially started tracking downloads in 2003 with the Hot Digital Tracks chart. However, these downloads did not count towards the Hot 100 and that chart (as opposed to Hot Digital Songs ) counted each version of a song separately (the chart still exists today along with Hot Digital Songs). This was the first major overhaul of the Hot 100's chart formula since December 1998.

The change in methodology has shaken up the chart considerably, with some songs debuting on the chart strictly with robust online sales and others making drastic leaps. In recent years, several songs have been able to achieve 80-to-90 position jumps in a single week as their digital components were made available at online music stores. Since 2006, the all-time record for the biggest single-week upward movement was broken nine times.

In the issue dated August 11, 2007, Billboard began incorporating weekly data from streaming media and on-demand services into the Hot 100. The first two major companies to provide their statistics to Nielsen BDS on a weekly basis were AOL Music and Yahoo! Music . On March 24, 2012, Billboard premiered its On-Demand Songs chart, and its data was incorporated into the equation that compiles the Hot 100. This was expanded to a broader Streaming Songs chart in January 2013, which ranks web radio streams from services such as Spotify , as well as on-demand audio titles. In February 2013, U.S. views for a song on YouTube were added to the Hot 100 formula. "Harlem Shake " was the first song to reach number one after the changes were made. The Hot 100 formula starting 2013 generally incorporates sales (35–45%), airplay (30–40%) and streaming (20–30%), and the precise percentage can change from week to week.


Billboard has also answered the call of music industry insiders who raised an issue regarding song remixes . A growing trend in the early first decade of the 21st century was to issue a song as a "remix" that was so drastically different in structure and lyrical content from its original version that it was essentially a whole new song. Under normal circumstances, airplay points from a song's album version, "radio" mix and/or dance music remix, etc. were all combined and factored into the song's performance on the Hot 100, as the structure, lyrics and melody remained intact. Criticisms began when songs were being completely re-recorded to the point that they no longer resembled the original recording. The first such example of this scenario is Jennifer Lopez ' "I\'m Real ". Originally entering the Hot 100 in its album version, a "remix" was issued in the midst of its chart run that featured rapper Ja Rule . This new version proved to be far more popular than the album version and the track was propelled to number one.

To address this issue, Billboard now separates airplay points from a song's original version and its remix, if the remix is determined to be a "new song". Since administering this new chart rule, several songs have charted twice, normally credited as "Part 1" and "Part 2". The remix rule is still in place.


_Billboard_, in an effort to allow the chart to remain as current as possible and to give proper representation to new and developing artists and tracks, has (since 1991) removed titles that have reached certain criteria regarding its current rank and number of weeks on the chart. Recurrent criteria have been modified several times and currently (as of 2015), a song is permanently moved to "recurrent status" if it has spent 20 weeks on the Hot 100 and fallen below position number 50. Additionally, descending songs are removed from the chart if ranking below number 25 after 52 weeks. Exceptions are made to re-releases and sudden resurgence in popularity of tracks that have taken a very long time to gain mainstream success. These rare cases are handled on a case-by-case basis and ultimately determined by _Billboard'_s chart managers and staff.


_Billboard_ altered its tracking-week for sales, streaming and radio airplay in order to conform to a new Global Release Date, which now falls on Fridays in all major-market territories (United States product was formerly released on Tuesdays prior to June 2015). This modified tracking schedule took effect in the issue dated July 25, 2015.


_Billboard'_s "chart year" runs from the first week of December to the final week in November. This altered calendar allows for _Billboard_ to calculate year-end charts and release them in time for its final print issue in the last week of December.

Prior to Nielsen SoundScan, year-end singles charts were calculated by an inverse-point system based solely on a song's performance on the Hot 100 (for example, a song would be given one point for a week spent at position 100, two points for a week spent at position 99 and so forth, up to 100 points for each week spent at number one). Other factors including the total weeks a song spent on the chart and at its peak position were calculated into its year-end total.

After _Billboard_ began obtaining sales and airplay information from Nielsen SoundScan, the year-end charts are now calculated by a very straightforward cumulative total of yearlong sales and airplay points. This gives a more accurate picture of any given year's most popular tracks, as a song that hypothetically spent nine weeks at number one in March could possibly have earned fewer cumulative points than a song that spent six weeks at number three in January. Songs at the peak of their popularity at the time of the November/December chart-year cutoff many times end up ranked on the following year's chart as well, as their cumulative points are split between the two chart-years, but often are ranked lower than they would have been had the peak occurred in a single year.


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The limitations of the Hot 100 have become more pronounced over time. Since the Hot 100 was based on singles sales, as singles have themselves become a less common form of song release, the Hot 100's data represented a narrowing segment of sales until the December 1998 change in the ranking formula.

Few music historians believe that the Hot 100 has been a perfectly accurate gauge of the most popular songs for each week or year. For example, during the 1950s and 1960s, payola and other problems skewed the numbers in largely undetectable ways.

Further, the history of popular music shows nearly as many remarkable failures to chart as it does impressive charting histories. Certain artists (such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin ) had tremendous album sales while being oblivious to the weekly singles charts. Business changes in the industry also affect artists' statistical "records." Single releases were more frequent and steady, and were expected to have much shorter shelf lives in earlier decades, making direct historical comparisons somewhat specious. Of the 16 singles to top the Billboard chart for more than ten weeks since 1955, only two were released before 1992. During the first 40 years of the rock era, no song had ever debuted at number one; since a 1995 change in methodology, 19 songs have.

Strategizing also plays a role. Numerous record labels have taken deliberate steps to maximize their chart positions by such tactics as timing a single's debut to face the weakest possible competition, or massively discounting the price of singles to the point where each individual sale represented a financial loss. Meanwhile, other labels would deliberately withhold even their most marketable songs in order to boost album sales. Particularly in the 1990s, many of the most heavily played MTV and radio hits were unavailable for separate purchase. Because of such countervailing strategies, it cannot be said that a Hot 100 chart necessarily lists the country's 100 most popular or successful songs. Strategies like these were the main reason behind the December 1998 change in the charts.

Some critics have argued that an overemphasis on a limited number of singles has distorted record industry development efforts, and there are nearly as many critics of the Hot 100 as there are supporters. Some of these criticisms, however, are becoming less and less germane as digital downloads have revitalized the concept of “singles sales.”

The _Billboard_ charts have endured as the only widely circulated published report on songs that have been popular across the United States over the last half-century. Competing publications such as _Cash Box _, _ Record World _, _Radio -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Billboard Staff (June 24, 2015). "Billboard to Alter Chart Tracking Week for Global Release Date". _Billboard_. Retrieved June 24, 2015. * ^ "\'Despacito\' Tops Billboard Hot 100 for 11th Week, Charlie Puth Hits Top 10". _Billboard_. Retrieved July 24, 2017. * ^ Mayfield, Geoff (August 4, 2007). " Billboard Hot 100 To Include Digital Streams". _Billboard_. Retrieved July 30, 2007. * ^ Trust, Gary (March 14, 2012). "Hot 100 Impacted by New On-Demand Songs Chart". _Billboard_. Retrieved March 14, 2012. * ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio (January 17, 2013). "New Dance/Electronic Songs Chart Launches With Will.i.am & Britney at No. 1". _Billboard_. Retrieved February 19, 2012. * ^ Sisario, Ben (February 20, 2013). "What\'s Billboard\'s No. 1? Now YouTube Has a Say". _The New York Times_. Retrieved February 20, 2013. * ^ Gary Trust (September 29, 2013). "Ask Billboard: How Does The Hot 100 Work?". _Billboard_. * ^ Trust, Gary (November 23, 2015). "Adele Tops Hot 100 for Fourth Week; Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara Hit Top 10". _Billboard_. Retrieved November 23, 2015. * ^ Richard Campbell et al, Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, 2004. * ^ "Billboard Launches Canadian Hot 100 Chart". _Billboard_. June 7, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2010. * ^ Trust, Gary (May 21, 2008). "Billboard Japan Hot 100 Finds Global Audience". _Billboard_. Retrieved June 4, 2010.


* Bronson, Fred . _Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, 5th Edition_ (ISBN 0-8230-7677-6 ) * Feldman, Christopher G. _The Billboard Book of No. 2 Singles_ (ISBN 0-8230-7695-4 ) * Whitburn, Joel . _Top Pop Singles 1955-2008, 12 Edition_ (ISBN 0-89820-180-2 ) * Whitburn, Joel . _The Billboard Pop Charts, 1955–1959_ (ISBN 0-89820-092-X ) * Whitburn, Joel . _The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Sixties_ (ISBN 0-89820-074-1 ) * Whitburn, Joel . _The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Seventies_ (ISBN 0-89820-076-8 ) * Whitburn, Joel . _The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Eighties_ (ISBN 0-89820-079-2 ) * Whitburn, Joel . _The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Nineties_ (ISBN 0-89820-137-3 )